It becomes profoundly, frustrating when I feel morally obliged to apprise my friends, family, and others about how the water-down media and the government are prevaricating information to the American people. However, they quickly morph into a defense mode, refusing to listen or even think I’m crazy. The only psychological reasoning for this obdurate behavior is cognitive dissonance. It seems that denial is always the first step of protecting one’s self from uncomfortable information, regardless if there is ample evidence supporting that information.
A prime example of cognitive dissonance that resonates with many is 9/11. We are all aware that the event of September 11th, was catastrophic and basically impaired the morale of the citizens of this nation. Subsequent, to the action that occurred on that heinous day, Americans witness the government implementing draconian, anti-civil liberty legislation – Patriot Act – as a means of protecting us from terrorist. The government propagandizes the word “terrorist” to encourage two wars, one in Afghanistan and then Iraq. At the time, these actions by the Bush administration didn’t seem obscured to the majority of American; many believed that the government was trying to protect us from another terrorist attack on American soil.
Several years after September 11th, ample data and government documents began to surface, illustrating the government’s involvement on the most televised terrorist attack–false flag–in world history. Even to this day, we still have a considerable population of people who believe the government’s official story of 9/11. As human beings, we have a perspective about the world around us and when that perspective is undermined or contradicted, by alternative information, we become defensive. Social psychologists call it cognitive dissonance. The media regurgitated the “Official story ” that 19 hijackers attack the US on 9/11 killing over 3,000 people – all orchestrated by Al Qaeda – while researchers, scientists, and architects contradict the “Official” story.
Cognitive dissonance is created when a person’s belief is challenged; it becomes frustrating, developing anxiety, especially when your government or religion comes into question. I have heard people say to me whether about 9/11, Obama, our emerging police state, a war on terror, bio-weapons, etc. “I’m aware of what you’re telling me, but I choose not to believe it.” Refusing to consider, better yet accept the truth is such an asinine, cop out response in protecting insecurities about falsified information. I guess denial is just an easier technique to accept than doing hard concrete research to find out the truth and be open-minded.
We as the society have evolved into a lethargic, lazy nation, comfortable in our corporate homes, comfortable watching our corporate media, regurgitating talking points, but uncomfortable when those talking points are belied. We quickly come face to face with denial. If you were taken out of your comfortable environment, it will make you vulnerable and susceptible to a dangerous and unfamiliar place. I can recall apprising friends and family on the dangers of sodium fluoride in our drinking water, when I provided with the essential data – like, fluoride causing dental fluorosis, bone cancer, liver cancer, and even reduces IQ levels in children. The ultimate response, I received was either justifying the use of fluoride, while others, not willing to believe because they felt that if it was true, the government would ban use. I even know people who blatantly accept it, “well we have to die of something.” This type acceptance, questions, whether they are willing, accept anything – tyranny over freedom, for example.
The healing process is always the most difficult part of cognitive dissonance, especially when the messenger was condemned, ridiculed, and silenced. Those suffering from cognitive dissonance need to allow those feelings of fear to enter our minds no matter how challenging it may be. Reconciliation and acceptance is one of the only means of recovering from the myth and lies you may have been exposed to by an authority.
Cognitive dissonance may not be the only issue; we may also be losing our critical thinking skills as well. Many have a failure to relate historical event to present time for example, in 1933 Hitler and the Nazis burned down the Reichstag to blame it on the Communist, which resulted in the signing of the Reichstag Fire Decree, restricting the German people of their civil liberties. Ringing a bell, a little over a month after the towers fell – October 23, 2001 – Bush signed the Patriot Act into law, which restricted the American people of their civil liberties. Cognitive dissonance would have us defending the Patriot Act, “well there is a difference, Hitler was a ruthless dictator who killed 6 million Jews and those who didn’t fit the paragon of his eugenics, Arian nation, on the other hand George Bush just tried to protect his country from ever having to experience another terrorist attack.” Well I can understand that justification, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck; making excuses for a lie is only allowing that lie to grow out of control, especially when you know the truth.
Overcoming cognitive dissonance is as challenging as a recovering from heroin or other abuses substances. It takes a time to decipher this new information that is not easy to accept and condemn the old information as a lie.